Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Once considered a separate family, the group was synonymized into Eucnemidae by Muona in 1993.
Explanation of Names
The common name was applied to Perothops muscidus, in which the species was found on beech trees in E. U.S.
I took the time to translate a paper Antonio Cobos published in 1964. He provided a key to the species. I have condensed the information down to make it easier to separate the two species by concentrating on several traits: 1)aedeagus, 2)prosternal process and 3)hind angles of the pronotum.
Perothops witticki LeConte
- lateral lobes hooked, pointed posterolaterally
- prosternal process abruptly fallen beyond coxae
- hind angles moderately divergent, sharp
Perothops cervinus Eschscholtz
- lateral lobes straight, pointed anteriorally
- prosternal process moderately long, smoothly sloping beyond coxae
- hind angles divergent, very sharp
Both species are similar in size as well as they thrive together in the same areas of California. Little is known about these species. Two of the most recent papers published, centers on the swarming behavior of witticki and the other on the larval description published last year. It is unknown if one is a high elevation bug versus the other being lower elevation. Further studies needs to be conducted to iron out their natural histories. I hope this will help folks in making the right determinations on these beetles. -- Robert Otto on 7 March, 2008
Perothops muscidus (Gyllenhal)
- Eastern Distribution
- Lateral lobes hooked, pointed posteriorlaterally and short
- Hind angles short, sharp and not divergent.
Two species are distributed in California. Third species is widespread in Eastern U.S.
Found largely in forested areas.
Mid May through the end of June
Gary Alpert published a nice paper describing the aggregation habits of P. witticki in Southern California.
Alpert, G. 1972. Aggregations of Perothops witticki LeConte (Coleoptera: Perothopidae). The Coleopterists Bulletin. 26(2): 73-74.
Cobos, A. 1965. Materiales para el estudio de la familia Eucnemidae. Primera parte (Coleoptera). Eos. 40(3-4): 289-435.
Lawrence, J.F., Muona, J., Teräväinen, M., Ståhls, G. & Vahtera, V. 2007. Anischia, Perothops and the phylogeny of Elateroidea (Coleoptera: Elateriformia). Insect Systematics & Evolution. 38: 205-239.
Muona, J. 1993. Review of the Phylogeny, Classification and Biology of the Family Eucnemidae (Coleoptera). Entomologica Scandinavica Supplement 44: 133 pp.